A victim of domestic abuse and her three sons have been forced to flee for a second time after Queensland’s Child Safety Department sent her violent ex-partner details about their secret new life.
Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman says the ‘devastating error’ has been referred to the Ethical Standards unit for investigation, reports Daily Mail.
It’s emerged someone in the department accidentally sent the woman’s ex-partner details about the boys’ new school, their counsellor and the local sports they were playing as they tried to rebuild their lives.
The man is in jail on remand accused of attacking the woman, leaving her with broken bones, and going on the run with two of their three sons.
Child Safety and (the mother) are worried that (the father) might be released from prison and try and locate (the mother) and her children.
Ms Fentiman said they’d received a personal apology from her department’s director-general, had been offered further counselling and relocation costs after the woman had to pull her boys out of their new school, fearing they (and others) could be in danger.
‘An incorrect version of a document containing confidential information was sent in error. This was a serious and devastating mistake for the family involved and should never have happened,’ Ms Fentiman said in a statement.
‘The department continues to work with the family to ensure their ongoing safety.’
Opposition child safety spokeswoman Ros Bates says systems that should protect vulnerable women and children are clearly in crisis.
She says the child safety department’s mistake could have cost the woman her life, and it had ‘re-traumatised’ her and her sons.
‘Victims of domestic violence need to have confidence the system will protect them not leave them exposed.’
If you need support the national domestic violence helpline contact 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT.
This is NOT acceptable, we hope the family is safe and the kids are being offered extra support after such a terrible ordeal.
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